Science Proves Your Dog is a Compass

Lots of dogs following men on bikes down wooded road

I’m not sure how to say this, so I’m just going to say it. Your dog’s diet might be high in iron. Some scientists decided to science the crap out of dogs, literally. Their findings were published in the Journal of Frontiers in Zoology and show that dogs prefer to do the doo while aligned with a magnetic pole.

Scientists Conducted a Study

70 dogs were observed — including 37 different breeds  — over a 2-year time span. 1,893 poops and 5,582 urinations were observed and documented by scientists over the period. The study suggested “under calm magnetic field conditions,” dogs choose to “excrete with the body being aligned along the North-South axis,” comically enough, avoiding an East-West axis facing position entirely. Observations were done under free-roaming conditions. The dogs were not leashed during bathroom breaks or in a location where walls, roads, or humans would influence their decision making.

Try an experiment

Next time you let your dog out to use the bathroom, keep an eye on which way he faces. Make a note of the direction, either with a compass or using visual markers like “he was facing my neighbor’s garage.” The next few times you let your dog out, observe and see if he faces the same direction as before. According to the study, dogs prefer to face North-South, along with a magnetic pole. You may find your dog facing the same way or the opposite way, but probably never to the side… as long as he has free will to go where he chooses. Service dogs, for example, can poop and pee on command and may not display such strong preferential tendencies in regards to their excremental location.

Afterthoughts and musings

Knowing what we do now, a few thoughts come to mind. Are dogs alchemists? Meaning, is your furry friend’s digestive system turning everything he eats into metallic concentrates? Maybe their diet is just high in iron and magnets help everything release more smoothly — I’ve never seen a dog need toilet paper for wiping, having you? A clean-pinch might be your dog’s super-power. I wonder if a dog’s bowels have anything at all to do with the moon’s gravitational pull? You know, like high-tide and low-tide. And even though the direction a dog opts to hit the loo seems kind of pointless, it would be interesting to discover why it does what it does in hopes of uncovering greater discovers in other animals or even humans.

Any way you slice it or dice it, the study leads you to believe that there is more to magnetic poles and their connection with living things than anyone might have thought. What that role is, science still isn’t quite sure, but they appear to be working on it. Godspeed, science.

Bonus Find: Dog Gear, Dog-Shaped Wood-Grain Pocket Knife

Look at this dog-shaped wood-grained swiss army style pocket knife. Give it to the camper/dog lover/friend-who-needs-a-can-opener in your life. Check out more about this.

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